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New Delhi: There is a broad recognition in the US that Indian IT professionals contribute to making the US economy more competitive, an Indian official said on Thursday amid speculation that the Donald Trump administration plans to curb the flow of Indian software professionals into the US.

 

In his weekly media briefing, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay said that foreign secretary S. Jaishankar and commerce secretary Rita Teotia had raised the issues with US officials during a visit to the US last week.

 

“There was a wide-ranging and strong recognition as well as respect for Indian skills and contribution of the Indian technological manpower to the US economy. It is widely agreed that the presence of Indian technical professionals makes the United States more competitive and helps its economy,” he said. Senior US officials had stated that “illegal immigration and not H1B (visa) is their priority,” he said.

 

ALSO READ | Suspension on expedited H1B visa to affect IT firms: Nasscom

 

“It has been our view that the presence of skilled Indian professionals is a positive for the US economy as well, particularly when the US seeks to build a stronger economy,” Baglay said.

 

“We believe that the plans of the US Administration for the US economy present an opportunity for the two countries to further consolidate their strong economic partnership,” he said.

 

The comments come against the backdrop of apprehensions in India of a cut in the current limit of 65,000 H1B visas for skilled professionals. A PTI report said at least half a dozen bills have been tabled in the US house of representatives and the senate, contending that the programme eats into American jobs. Trump has promised to resolve the issue.

 

ALSO READ | Trump administration has very positive view of India-US ties: Jaishankar

 

H1B visas are used by firms hiring foreign professionals while the L1 is used for intra-company transfers.

 

On the Chinese media describing India’s nod to the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh—that China claims as its own—as an “act of hostility,” Baglay said that the Tibetan spiritual leader was a “revered religious figure who is treated as such by the Government and the people of India. The government has no say in his travels within India and no political meaning should be attached to them as such,” he added.

 

On the decision by US-based Christian charity Compassion International to close shop in India on suspicions of religious conversions, Baglay said all voluntary organisations—whether Indian or foreign—had to abide by the laws of the land they were operating in.

 

Source: Live Mint

New Delhi: There is a broad recognition in the US that Indian IT professionals contribute to making the US economy more competitive, an Indian official said on Thursday amid speculation that the Donald Trump administration plans to curb the flow of Indian software professionals into the US.

 

In his weekly media briefing, Indian foreign ministry spokesman Gopal Baglay said that foreign secretary S. Jaishankar and commerce secretary Rita Teotia had raised the issues with US officials during a visit to the US last week.

 

“There was a wide-ranging and strong recognition as well as respect for Indian skills and contribution of the Indian technological manpower to the US economy. It is widely agreed that the presence of Indian technical professionals makes the United States more competitive and helps its economy,” he said. Senior US officials had stated that “illegal immigration and not H1B (visa) is their priority,” he said.

 

ALSO READ | Suspension on expedited H1B visa to affect IT firms: Nasscom

 

“It has been our view that the presence of skilled Indian professionals is a positive for the US economy as well, particularly when the US seeks to build a stronger economy,” Baglay said.

 

“We believe that the plans of the US Administration for the US economy present an opportunity for the two countries to further consolidate their strong economic partnership,” he said.

 

The comments come against the backdrop of apprehensions in India of a cut in the current limit of 65,000 H1B visas for skilled professionals. A PTI report said at least half a dozen bills have been tabled in the US house of representatives and the senate, contending that the programme eats into American jobs. Trump has promised to resolve the issue.

 

ALSO READ | Trump administration has very positive view of India-US ties: Jaishankar

 

H1B visas are used by firms hiring foreign professionals while the L1 is used for intra-company transfers.

 

On the Chinese media describing India’s nod to the Dalai Lama to visit Arunachal Pradesh—that China claims as its own—as an “act of hostility,” Baglay said that the Tibetan spiritual leader was a “revered religious figure who is treated as such by the Government and the people of India. The government has no say in his travels within India and no political meaning should be attached to them as such,” he added.

 

On the decision by US-based Christian charity Compassion International to close shop in India on suspicions of religious conversions, Baglay said all voluntary organisations—whether Indian or foreign—had to abide by the laws of the land they were operating in.

 

Source: Live Mint

Australia's economy gained momentum in the last quarter of 2016, allowing the resource-rich economy to extend its 25-year streak without recession

 

It brings the country close to breaking the Netherlands' record of modern-era uninterrupted economic growth

 

Australia's economy had contracted in the third quarter but the surprise 1.1% rise pulled the annual figure back to a 2.4% growth rate

 

The recovery was attributed largely to strong exports and consumer spending

 

Mining and agriculture enjoyed relatively strong growth in the three months to December

 

Iron ore and coal are Australia's biggest exports and reduced demand from China has cooled a mining boom and hurt the Australian economy

 

Australia has not had a recession - defined as two consecutive quarters of negative growth - since June 1991

 

It is now just one quarter short of the Dutch record set between 1982 and 2008.Treasurer Scott Morrison welcomed a 2% rise in business investment in December - the first rise after a dozen quarters of decline

 

"Our growth continues to be above the OECD average and confirms the successful change that is taking place in our economy as we move from the largest resources investment boom in our history to broader-based growth," he said

 

'Bright' outloo

 

ANZ analysts said the figures confirmed that the weakness in the third quarter "was only temporary, and underlying momentum in the economy remains solid"

 

Capital Economics chief Australia economist Paul Dales said the economy was firmly "back on track"

 

"The decent rebound in real GDP in the fourth quarter doesn't just dash any lingering fears that Australia was in a recession, but it also boosts hopes that the surge in commodity prices will trigger a rapid recovery," he said

 

"The outlook for the next year is reasonably bright," Shane Oliver of AMP Capital told the BBC. "We are seeing a pickup in export volumes and we have seen a big rebound in key commodity prices.

 

Mr Oliver added: "Growth should probably get back to 2.5%, maybe 3% over the course of this year.

 

Estimates by the country's central bank point to economic growth rising to about 3% for 2017 on the back of recovering commodity prices.

 

Source:BBC News

Australian natural resources minister Matthew Canavan has said the Adani group's integrated coal project in his country has about 70-80% support of the local community. Work on the Carmichael project would start within 2017.

 

By early 2018, first coal is likely to be produced. The Carmichael coal, railway and port project includes building Australia’s largest thermal coal mine in the north Galilee Basin approximately 160 km north-west of Clermont in Central Queensland. A new 388 km standard gauge rail line to a new terminal at Abbot Point Port near Bowen will also be built. According to the company, the combined mine, rail and port operations will provide over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs and supply opportunities for local businesses.

 

Canavan said, “Hope was in the horizon for the project despite all the delays." He said the project would be the first such one to get off the ground in the region spurring other investment. “The delays have been frustrating,” he told Business Standard in an interview. But now, only last mile clearances at the local level were pending, and federal and state clearances were in place.

 

Adani Mining Pty Ltd (Adani) began formal environmental assessment of the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project (the Project) in 2010, through preparation of an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), to address the state and federal government approval requirements. Local protests and court cases, however, delayed the project.

 

Canavan, who is on his first visit to India, has been an open supporter of the Adani project sometimes even courting controversy with the local media there.

 

On the opportunities available in India for Australian companies, he said they were concerned about the business environment in India especially with regard to clearances. He, however, was not much worried about this. “These things go in both directions,” he said referring to delays both in India and Australia.

 

Canavan said Australian companies were looking at opportunities in the mid sector of natural resource mining rather than commercial mining of coal. “If the Indian government is looking at attracting investment in the sector from Australia, there are opportunities for our country to share technologies, techniques, and investment directly. We are interested in mining engineering, technology service and logistics, what we call mid-sector. We are have a 10-year plan to try and grow that sector domestically. And we are also looking at international opportunities in this sector.”

 

The minister who is also in-charge of north Australia said there was great deal of competition between the two countries on something like coal. “We both can work together through trade,” he said. India imported 48.2 million tonne of coal in 2016 from Australia of which 4.8 mt was thermal coal. The country’s mainstay is coking coal used mainly by the steel industry. Thermal coal is used for power generation.

 

The Carmichael coal is likely to be imported to India. The project in December 2016 crossed a major milestone when it received approval for a permanent rail line and a temporary construction camp. Adani Power operates India’s largest single location private sector power plant in Mundra, Gujarat. The 4,620 mw project was primarily planned as an imported coal based power plant. It uses domestic coal as well.

 

Source:Business Standard

AUSTRALIA’S largest trade surplus ever was seen in the December quarter of last year, with the value of exports exceeding imports by $4.7bn.

 

Trade minister Steven Ciobo cited surging export values of rural goods, iron ore and coal as the main drivers of the surplus.

 

“This record result was driven by large increases in export values to China, Japan, Korea Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan, The UK and Thailand,” he said.

 

“The growth in rural exports was underpinned by strong gains in vegetables, oil seeds, wool, meat and fresh dairy products.”

 

The December quarter also saw the lowest current account deficit since 2001, at $3.9bn, a decrease of $6.3bn

 

“Australia's impressive overall trade position in 2016 was boosted by large increases in export volumes of LNG and coal as major infrastructure projects in those sectors came online,” Mr Ciobo said.

 

“Tourism also made a significant contribution to our exports, as Australia continues to attract a record number of international visitors.”

 

Source:Lloyds List Australia